Diego Schwartzman was one of the lucky candidates in the lower half. (Getty)

This 17-point roundup is about the men and women who put it all on or inside the lines at the rowdiest major event of the season. The hits started early, and they simply kept coming.

Check out No. 11 here.


When we remark, years from now, about how the bottom half of the 2017 US Open men's singles draw fell apart, we must speak of it in all but epic terms. This was the sport's take on Moses parting the Red Sea.

Yes, Andy Murray withdrew after all 128 men had been inserted in their spots, and he was replaced by No. 5 seed and former US Open champ Marin Cilic at the tail end of said draw. No, Roger Federer, seeded No. 3, did not take up that precious spot, which would have been utterly helpful to a first-time in New York showdown with Rafael Nadal in the final.

That's when it all went to bits. John Isner couldn't muster a career-defining run, falling in his subsequent match after it became apparent that a tantalizing opportunity awaited someone. Anyone.

Enter Diego Schwartzman and his 67 inches of height. This is a fellow who stands 5-foot-7 with a bullet, who made major-tournament history not seen in more than two decades.

Schwartzman downed Cilic and then took out yesteryear's Nadal vanquisher, No. 16 seed Lucas Pouille, before Pablo Carrena Busta cut him down to size in straight sets.

Gabriela Sabatini, Argentina's 1990 US Open winner on the women's side, saluted her countryman, fittingly, as she did Juan Martin del Potro as well. Schwartzman managed to do what others around him, well, fell short in attempting: capitalizing on a depleted draw and taking his pro-tennis brand to entirely new heights. He may be 25 already, but it will be intriguing to see how his game may rise again.

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